Sean Bennett and Keelan Swift-Stalley are two second year students who, alongside Ruby Lambert (Birmingham City University), run their very own theatre company, Inkwell Productions Limited. I sat down with them for a quick chat about the origins of Inkwell productions, their upcoming shows, and the direction they plan on taking their company.
It all started back in 2014 when the trio were working on a fundraiser whilst at school, under the name of Three Walls Theatre Group. They put together a pantomime-esque production, which they described as “great fun”.
Since the 11 January 2017, Inkwell Productions has been an official company which has been designed to allow room for expansion and development. Although the company started with a pantomime, they have now established a base in “small, immersive, intimate productions” with their last show, Waiting for Godot, selling out on the second night. The focus is very much on putting together “high quality shows” and making their productions available across a range of locations.
Wednesday 14th March will see them take over Bookable Room 1 for their next production Title and Deed (Will Eno), a one-man show that really brings out their dedication to intimate productions. It will be performed by Swift-Stalley himself, who said that was excited at the prospect of working on such an “interesting thing”. The show was chosen by the pair because it “deals with ideas of the other, which is very topical at the moment”. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased at tickets.inkwell@ gmail.com.
Another branch of their production team are working in Cambridge on the production Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, which the pair are equally excited for, despite not working on it personally. But perhaps most exciting is their upcoming production of Uncle Vanya which will take place in Camden as part of a collaboration with another theatre company. Although this is a bigger venue in comparison to their usual shows, the pair are confident that it will retain their Inkwell spirit.
In terms of future productions, the company has nothing else officially planned, but are hoping to have another five shows in the diary by September. The pair are really enthusiastic about the company and performing in Norwich itself, assuring me that, “UEA is a really good place to run a theatre company. Lots of very talented actors and technicians… there are some fantastic people to work with.”